New Off-Campus Housing Not Prepared as Residents Settle in for Fall Semester


Much of the new off campus housing, like Martin House seen here, required renovations. These renovations were not complete when students moved in for the fall semester.

E&H purchased several off-campus housing locations to accommodate the large incoming class and returning students, but many of the houses were not prepared for residents at the start of fall semester.

Sophomore Danielle Babcock currently lives in the recently acquired Martin House and said, “When I moved in, the house wasn’t ready, and it was in really bad conditions. … There was sawdust everywhere, the furniture was flipped, it honestly looked like someone kinda got murdered there.”

Sam Lopez, director of housing and residence life, spoke about the different off-campus houses available for the new year, saying, “We already owned Princeton, Cottage, Mitchell, and Carruth, but we recently purchased Bingham, Coltrain, & Blakemore.”

The college is also renting Martin House, where Babcock lives, and Watson House. Lopez says the school currently has no interest in purchasing those locations.

When speaking about the preparation of the off-campus housing, Lopez said, “Contractors were not given time, and only the basic things were done. … They were not to Elm or Hickory standards.”

Due to this lack of time, contractors have been working on these off-campus projects while students settled in for the fall semester.

Babcock commented on the ongoing work by contractors, saying, “They would come in when they please. … It’s my personal space, I don’t want anyone to come in there without me knowing.”

Babcock shared other concerns, and some positive aspects, she has experienced living in the new off-campus housing.

“I really like the independence I have, I don’t feel harped on by everything. It has created a really good community environment. I just like it a lot more than the traditional dorm style atmosphere. … It can make it more difficult to get in contact with your RA. … When I lived in Elm & Hickory I was able to knock on my RA’s door, but here I can’t,” she said.

Lopez shared that residents living in off-campus housing can get in touch with facilities staff if there are issues, saying, “There is someone on call for maintenance. … We submit work orders and make calls. … We have to deal with 3rd parties and that takes time … facility is working as quickly as possible.”

Lopez also shared that she believes the facility staff on campus is understaffed and underappreciated, saying, “They don’t get the credit they deserve. … They arrive here at 6 a.m. and they are here until 3 p.m. … they have an employee shortage and it’s hard to hire new people. … They need more funding.”